Cristiano Ronaldo is, arguably, one of the most impactful players in the history of the beautiful game and has amazed the world numerous times over the years. Here, we recall some of the most iconic moments of CR7’s career.
Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates his 39th birthday this Monday. Throughout more than two decades in the spotlight of world football, the captain of the National Team has not only collected titles but also moments that will go down in history.
Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro was born on the island of Madeira on February 5, 1985, and from an early age made football his life. His first touches were with the modest CF Andorinha, where he immediately showed he was different from the rest.
He then moved to Nacional da Madeira, but it wasn’t long before he made the jump to Sporting, at just 12 years old. In Lisbon, it was confirmed: he was a star. This led László Bölöni, the main team coach of Sporting at the time, to bet on the young talent. In 2002, he made his debut in the main team of the ‘lions’ and stayed there until the beginning of the following season.
From the ‘prince’ of Alvalade to the ‘King’ of Madrid
Portugal began to be too small for the extraordinary talent of the still CR28. From the ‘Land of His Majesty’, an offer came that made Ronaldo leave Portugal, at 18 years old. In 2003, he signed for Manchester United, a club where he won everything there was to win. In 2008, he entered the restricted lot of Ballon d’Or winners, before moving to Madrid. There, he spent the golden years of his career where, again, he won everything there was to win in terms of team achievements. The story is the same when it comes to individual awards.
Every fairy tale has an end, and this was no different. In 2018, he switched Spain for Italy and signed for Juventus, for whom he couldn’t win that competition which he can still call “his” – he is the player with the most goals, games, assists, and titles.
From dream to nightmare
In the summer of 2021, to the delight of his fans, he returned to a place where he had been happy. Manchester became his home again, more than 10 years later. But the story, which had everything to be romantic, ended in hatred. The relationship between Ronaldo and Erik Ten Hag, the coach who led the ‘red devils’ from 2022, worsened more and more, leading to CR7’s early departure.
To the surprise of many, at the end of that year, he joined the Saudis of Al Nassr, in a transfer that generated countless news and comments around the world, also because of the values present in his contract.
With the ‘quinas’ on his chest, he reached the Euro 2004 final and, since then, has led the Portuguese armada towards all competitions, becoming the highest scorer in the history of Portugal and of world national teams. Beyond the 128 ‘accurate shots’, the Portuguese star won the Euro 2016 and the Nations League in 2019.
Despite being close to four decades old, the years seem not to pass by him, and proof of this are the 54 goals he scored in 2023, earning him the feat of top scorer of the year, surpassing names like Mbappé, Haaland, and Harry Kane.